Blog 13 Fitness is Kicking My Tush

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I haven’t talked about Sky High Pole and Fitness’ Vital Force class yet so there’s no time like the present. I go to the Monday one and then I do the inters class and I have yet to have enough energy to do the dance class that follows it.

I’ve started trying protein shakes to see if that will help with some stamina. The thing is you would think the class would get easier as you progress but Emily, little energiser bunny that she is, is making the exercises harder.

Monday night bloody killed me and I keep chanting to myself, if you want the Iron X you need to do this so stop whinging and do it. I am getting hella strong so I guess it’s working but my goodness I am going to have earned that Iron X when it arrives. I can do five chin ups now with totally extended arms and I’ve never had that many chin ups. I got as far as four before I had to go and have surgery but I remember getting my first and second and what a big deal that was for me so five is huge and my goal is twelve. So that was Monday and I was pretty well stuffed for the whole of Tuesday.

Friday night I did a little bubby beginners class and then Sarah’s floor and combo class and my butt was truly kicked. I got up Saturday morning and I had the shakes. I ended up feeding the animals and then going back to bed for a half hour to see if that would help. Now I’ve missed gym and I love Saturday gym so what have I learned from this?

I have three fitness loves, I love running, gym and pole. From now on if I want to be able to do everything, I will do one lesson of pole at a time, schedule the run in first and get it out of the way because too often you run out of time (ooh accidental pun) or run out of energy (ooh more deliberate pun) by the end of the day. I don’t know if this shaky horrible feeling is a by product of fitness, is it a result of my being ill previously, is it an age thing? I used to run marathons and while my body hurt all the time while I was training for marathons, my fitness was ridiculous. I would like that back please Universe.

I’ve sent a facebook post off asking for advice so we shall see. I feel very sad that all my gym mates are at the gym having a fabulous time and I am here sitting at my desk typing. Oh well suck it up Trishy. The advice came back, its rest and eat properly. I do wish I could just take a magic pill and kapow my energy is restored, maybe like Roger Ramjet and maybe like amphetamines.

I’ve spent my convalescence time coming up with a new schedule and I have managed to wrangle 7 runs throughout the week, 6 gym visits and 4 pole visits and if I ever get some stamina back those pole visits could become double lessons. I am very sad to be missing Saturday pole but I don’t think I could drive today I am completely wiped out. In all fairness Sarah’s floor and combo class Friday was fast and strong. The routine had all of these cool fan kicks and choppers and changing sides on the pole. I was holding my own, maybe doing one floor leg thingy to their three but she lost me on the backward shoulder roll. I thought bloody hell I would need a whole lesson just to learn that. I did wonder if maybe this was something that was beyond me but Sarah offered to spend some time on it in next week’s class so I could at least try it. I just don’t want to hurt my shoulder like I have done previously in gymnastics. I did my AC joint on the Wednesday before a Sunday Ultramarathon and that marathon was miserable as a result. It also took ages for the shoulder to heal so I am nervous about hurting it again. Mind you if I can do the flippin Superman and the Dive maybe I have a shoulder roll in me. I can but give it a whirl.

I’m going to use this latest crash as a learning experience. If I want to do Saturday pole then I will do one lesson of pole on a Friday. Split up gym and pole to give myself some recovery time and of course run first. If all else fails run first. I did a park run at Carisbrooke this morning and it was just Heaven. The facebook reminder came in and I thought yeah I’ve got time. I threw breakfast at the dogs and cats and the horse and donkey. Told them Mama’s going out and I arrived just as the runners were heading off. Me and this other guy leaped out of our cars and went running after them. It was a beautiful run and you go faster when you run with others.

This hasn’t been the usual I’m kicking ass type of blog but I think it’s important to share all aspects of fitness not just the highlights. I will be doing fitness until the day I die and I need to manage my interests so that I can do all that I want to do and try and avoid these crashes.

Thank you Universe for providing my gym, my pole studio, running, my trainers and my fellow students and gym buddies who I love to bits.

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Blog 12 I Got The Friggin Dive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Pole Log – Monday night –Inters is starting to make sense. After weeks of having no bloody idea of what was going on I am starting to piece things together. I have discovered that there are moves that are quite difficult for me and there are moves that aren’t a problem at all. I can work on the difficult ones and I can say thank you Universe for the ones I like.

Monday night showed me that I can still do the Superman both sides – Huzzah. I still got my Star Gazer – cheers for that Pole God. I seriously need to work on my ability to bend backwards because I’m not gazing that much in the Star Gazer.

I did a Jasmine, I just upped and did it – Shazzam people. I still can’t do a poxy Dive or a Leg Hang but I still got my Butterfly even if it is a little caterpillar like some days.

I was so happy about the Jasmine, brand new move thank you very much.

Emily the teacher, I love Emily, she says do the move to your level and that’s brilliant. So beginners do a little, more advanced people bend more or link moves or do it aerially, nobody feels like they are being left out. It’s a great studio with great teachers have I mentioned that?

Friday night was ridiculous. It was the most amazing pole class. I had my nana nap so I actually stayed awake during it. We had two students in the class so lottttttts of attention given to yours truly. And Sarah my beautiful trainer says what do you want to work on? Anything giving you trouble? I says Sarah I can’t do the Dive it’s a head fuck. She says rightyo and improves my Dive. Anything else she says. I say well I can’t do a leg hang I can’t lift myself up and I can’t get my leg to go all the way over. So she fixes that up – both sides thank you very much. Then she says what about your Superman? Oh I say I have my Superman. Aerially? she says. By this point I think hey bring it. So up I go and I’m doing a bloody leg hang up there and going into an aerial Superman and I’m thinking this is it, My head will explode………. Thank you Sarah, thank you Sky High Pole and Fitness I am seriously seriously chuffed like seriously.

Sarah did this really cool exercise where she said climb and use mainly your legs to see if that will get me trusting my legs more in that bloody Dive. Did you know that climbing with primarily your legs is heaps easier than climbing with primarily your arms – who knew?

A big shout out to Sarah’s hairdresser. Sarah’s hair is a coat of many colours and it is gorgeous. I counted blue purple and pink before she moved her head and all the colours seemed to merge into each other, it was mesmerising.

On Saturday my pole path to Paradise continued. Now Giang was the instructor and I was keen to impress her. This time I had had a gym session first, no nana nap and hadn’t been game to risk eating first because of my treacherous stomach. I was tired and hungry and I had an hours worth of stretch class before our inters class.

I pretty much snoozed through stretch. I can do that. I get in the position required, shut my eyes and take a micro nap until someone talks to me. Giang always gives us plenty of time in the stretches so you really feel like you have just been pulled apart by the time you’ve finished. There’s nothing worse than getting into the stretch and then the instructor is saying change sides and you think hang on, a minute or two more and I would have this puppy!

The stretch class went very quickly and I was quite concerned that I had imagined everything that had happened on Friday. I told Giang all about it and she had seen my big braggy facebook posts but as we all know talk is cheap and deeds are gold.

I think Giang asked us to do a leg hang both sides and I wondered if I still had it. Well bugger me if I did not get up and just get my leg hang first go. Giang wasn’t even surprised. I nearly fell off the pole. So Leg hang I did, both sides, even using my gosh darned pocket first with a spot then without a spot, both sides and we were away.

Giang asked us was there anything we wanted to work on and I said my goal was to get the Iron x. I said I know the Ayesha is the transition move to getting it but is there a move before the Ayesha and she said yes Butterfly and extended Butterfly. Amelia was in the class and we said sure we’ll have a little of that thanks.

So we were Butterflying away and I think we even did a little Extended Butterfly today I mean we were on Fire! Amelia and I are saying oh that frigging Dive because for the very first bit of the Butterfly your legs are in a Dive position and Giang said well why don’t you challenge yourselves and do the Dive now. Inside I’m screaming Not the Dive Giang; Don’t make us do the Dive, but outside I’m saying yes of course that’s a great idea.

Now Scarlett had posted earlier about how if you are scared of doing something you do it over and over again until you’re not scared. I knew then when I read that post that I had to do the Dive over and over again. Emily had shown me how not to die when you come out of it. Sarah had said stop relying on your arms trust your legs. Giang had said your arms are doing nothing in this position it’s your legs. So all of these people who I totally respected had each given me a link in the chain to getting this frigging move.

I went up, I got in the position, I felt totally unsafe but I was able to take my hands off for a second and then put my hands down and walk out of it. I went up again I felt less unsafe, I was able to take my hands off and then I was able to put my hands down and walk out of it. I went up again I let go of my arms I felt myself slipping down a little until my skin caught and then I was there, I had it. Not pretty, scared as shit, but I had it and I did it again for a picture. I had the Dive. Can you possibly imagine how good it feels to get a move that you are fucking terrified of? It was better than sex.

We did stuff afterwards but it was all a bit of a blur. I got myself home and I was exhausted. The Universe had given me a great big fat gift and I was so frigging grateful.

I actually felt like a poler in this lesson. I actually felt like a real contributing student not some big gormless character who could do very little. I cannot tell you how beautiful that feeling was.

There is a very real possibility now that I might get a Jade split and my beautiful beautiful Iron X. Pole will change your life people it is an amazing art form.

Thank you Universe for providing this studio, these instructors and my fellow students who I love to bits.

 

Blog 11 An Interesting Week

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I had to scrap the exotic dance class there’s just not enough of me to go round and attend everything that is on offer. I’m starting to feel like Bilbo using the ring too much, “I’m getting thin like butter stretched over too much bread”. The good news is that I can use my kick ass boots in my studios combo class if I can manage to do a class without damaging myself but that happened later in the week.

So what was so interesting about my week? It was a week of revelation, introspection and just generally sucking it up.

I don’t often mention Crossfit in my blogs but Crossfit featured heavily this week. I go to a brilliant gym in Elizabeth (Crossfit Northern Adelaide – yes shameless plug) and I have made great friends there. The coaches are funny and we have these really good conversations that I love. Now at the gym we have been doing an eight week challenge where you work on your sleep, your nutrition, your water consumption and your fitness and I my friends was quietly confident that I was going to do well.

In the eight weeks; I attended gym quite a bit, I drank lots more water than I had done previously, maybe a glass or two a day. I thought about getting more sleep and managed it occasionally. I TURNED DOWN two invites to a milkshake shop which I really wanted to try, I’m positive, almost positive that I ate less biscuits and donuts and chocolate bars than I would have normally. I’m currently on a vegan diet so all of those foods I have managed to find vegan alternatives – pretty cool hey? Oreos! Who knew? So at the start of the challenge we did this fitness test and a body scan and then we were going to finish with a fitness test and a body scan at the end.

This was the week we had the final fitness test and the body scan. I knew I was in trouble going in to the fitness test. I had a nana nap before going to gym, I thought about my clothes so that I would be comfortable and not get too hot. I kept my attitude positive but I knew I was in trouble when I was puffing on the first round. Now in all fairness I improved on the test but not by as much as I was hoping and that was a great big dose of suck it up Trishy. I rallied, next fitness test I’m going to practice in the eight weeks not just do one at the start and one at the finish, there I thought, that will fix that. I’m already working on the Christmas challenge.

So the Universe had done me foul on the fitness test, she was going to come good on the body scan. I had only one breakfast instead of my usual two and arrived for my scan famished. The scan happened, I had a chocolate bar salted away for the celebration that I knew was coming and I was flabbergasted with the results. The only good thing about the results was that I got to use the word flabbergasted which I really like. In eight weeks I had managed to lower my muscle content and increase my body fat. I had lost a kilo in weight (that’s probably due to no milkshake shop) but I have to say Trishy was not a happy camper.

The problem is I am a slow and steady person who likes to eat, this makes fitness and movement, problematical. I don’t care. I’m coming back. I’m going to do another body scan in eight weeks and the results are going to be much much different. One of the women at the gym said we should put FAF (Fit as Fuck) on our shirts and that cheered me up. I’m going to do that. One of the coaches reminded me that in the eight weeks I had increased the amount I was able to lift and that cheered me up too. We did have a ball during the challenge, the highlight for me was a workout with our dogs and I and my dogs had a great time that day. There was a film night WITH pizza which I didn’t attend mostly because I can’t stay up late but mainly because I thought oh no I won’t eat pizza in the eight weeks, look at how well that turned out?

Something that I really love about Crossfit is that it teaches you mental strength. We do these workouts which are awful sometimes and you think there’s no flipping way I can do this. Crossfit teaches you that you start, you do the first bit then the next bit and you keep moving until the job is done. I actually use that philosophy in a lot of activities outside of Crossfit.

Allrighty on to pole. To try and juggle work demands, going to gym, family and pole I have cut pole back to Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays. TWO (I’m using caps a lot this blog) but TWO people have said they could see my abs and this made me very happy both times it was said. I may not be able to do well in a challenge but I have abs and that is absolutely wonderful and if you had the stomach for it I could throw down a lot more ab puns because puns are the core of my humour.

I went to a beginner class run by Giang and it was a hoot and a half. If there is a spot free I go to the beginner classes because it helps you polish up some of your moves. For instance this week Giang said climb with your toes pointed and I have never thought about doing that. I’m usually grateful just to be able to climb up there. Anyhoo I went to this class and two women were first timers and two had had one lesson before this one. What this meant was that Giang said spin round the pole, spin they did and giggled. She said spin backwards and spin they did and giggled. Everything was a giggle or hysterical laughter. You couldn’t help but have a good time. I got to practise my pirouettes (I think that’s what they are called) and my pirouettes are a thing of great ugliness so I was grateful for some catch up time on them.

I tried my first inters floor and combo dance class next. The good news is that I now know I can wear my boots to this class if I want to. The bad news is that Rhianna sings faster than I can dance. I tried getting around this pole before she said the word Desperado and something pinged in my shoulder, I tried again, the shoulder pinged again and I thought bail out Trishy, save yourself. I’ll be back next week.

Saturday was stretch and I got to stretch out my poor injured wing. I skipped gym because my shoulder was sore and I was shitty about the body scan test. So I was pretty pumped for stretch. I learnt a cool way to prepare for the jade spilt and we did thirty, hang on, THIRTY! ok now keep reading, reps for our leg swings, forward, side and back. I thought I’ll be here all day doing this. The stretch class is awesome though and my shoulder felt less pingy.

Next was the inters class and I’m going to come out and say I am improving. Now please remember I started with not being able to do too much at all but this week I felt like I was doing more, it was really cool. I’m still crap at it but I can do more moves before getting exhausted and I’m starting to string things together so Huzzah Trishy! Something a bit interesting happened which I want to share.

I’ve been trying to do the dive and this move is just not happening. I can do the legs but I don’t feel secure. I hang on for grim death with my hands and I fall and land on my head. I get almost shitty with the instructors when they say you’re secure let go and I say back I”M NOT. Giang said something to me which has made me think about what I am doing. I’m paraphrasing but she said something like, “you are upside down holding on with your legs, I am not doing anything. You holding on with your hands is not doing anything in that position”. So I’ve got it into my head that my hands are what is keeping me on but in fact they could be what is stuffing up the move. I need to trust that my legs are doing their job. Bloody hell Pole can be scary.

We did many wonderful things in this class. We did The Suicide spin, I can’t do it but I loved it. I started the Jade Split ooh and I started an aerial Jamilla. One of the highlights from the class was that I did a Butterfly and I love that move. I still don’t understand how it works but I love the way you’re on the pole and then you extend out, it’s very cool.

Thank you Universe for Crossfit and Pole, these instructors and trainers and my fellow students who I love to bits.

Blog 9 It’s Starting To Come Together

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Friday night rolled around. I had eaten a good pole enabling dinner, I’d had my nanna nap. I was armed with a positive go to attitude, pole would be mine.

We got up to the dive part of the class and I actually slumped. I thought oh here we go let’s go and do this thing I cannot do. Now the funny thing is there is a girl in the class who loves dives and she’s great at them and just her sheer joy at doing them kind of motivated and inspired me a bit. It was like my mind, which had been saying oh no Trishy not the dive, was now saying, well she looks like she’s having a lot of fun there Tricia how about you give it a go?

So I gave it a go and I didn’t get it but I got further than I had previously and I thought hang on a minute. The first time I tried to dive I pulled a muscle in my calf just trying to get up there. After a couple of weeks I could get up and couldn’t figure out the feet part. A couple more weeks I got the feet now I was working on the knees. I got the knees and then I had to figure out how to get my body in front of the pole. I did that and last night I was working on how to get out of the dive without crumpling and hurting myself. All of a sudden when I was working my way to the front of the pole and when I was slowly coming down not just crashing I realised that I was thinking about what I was doing not just saying, “Sarah help me I can’t do it”, Sarah is our instructor who can do Iron X push ups. I want to be like Sarah when I grow up.

So last night showed me that I am progressing, I am getting stronger and I am able to think about the moves and work on them. Slowly for sure but that’s ok as long as I am moving forward. Going from the hang and pushing myself out with my arms I thought was very cool indeed. It made me see possibilities for my pole future.

Stretch on Saturday was brilliant. I come there straight from gym so I am all stiff and twisted up and it’s agony for the first ten minutes or so until I unkink, then it’s so relaxing I can hardly stay awake. I can see all sorts of possibilities for me stretch wise in this class and it’s going to be interesting to see how far my body can take me. Already I can see improvement in my splits and my back bends, it’s all kinds of cool.

I was all kinds of rubbish in the following inters class but I get so mellow and relaxed from the stretch class it’s hard to fire up for the next class. I got to see Giang do some seriously cool stuff and it was like, stick with me kids and one day you will be able to do this too. Every week I go to pole I see the instructors doing new things and I think oh I want to be able to do that and that and that. Giang was doing these kicks and it just looked fantastic. I don’t know if I will ever get to that stage but I aim to find out.

I’ve signed up for some new stuff at the studio with the idea of taking myself out of my comfort zone and seeing what I can do. I’ve never been very comfortable in my own skin and pole is very good for working on that. So I have signed up for an exotic dance class. Oh my gawd!!!!! There will be shoes and I am very excited. Step one – get the shoes, step two learn how to move in the shoes, step three don’t trip and do an ankle. Step four if I do trip and do an ankle don’t tell anyone how I did it. Can Pole make this Clydesdale into anything resembling a show pony? Just how magical can pole be? Stay tuned to this bat channel to find out. This week’s picture is courtesy of Pleasers.

Thank you Universe for providing this studio, these instructors and my fellow students who I love to bits.

Blog 8 There’s a Clydesdale in the China Shop

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The most important piece of information for this blog at least important to me is that my pole studio, my happy place, my place that I did not think could get any better – has plovers. I am seriously nuts about plovers. I was minding my own business getting to class and what do I see on the grassy verge out the front but plovers. But wait there’s more. First I see the plovers doing their cool distraction thing when a family walked past and I thought in my plover knowing way oh they must have eggs, but when I went back to take their picture after class what did I see? I saw a BABY PLOVER!!!! I nearly died.  I love plovers and after kookaburras they are pretty much my totem bird. I wish them all the best with rearing their baby. My photo won’t upload so the photo with this blog is one I got off the internet, the plovers I saw only have one baby. The plovers have chosen such a busy spot to have their babies but that is the way of the plover, inscrutable to many.

Now the reason for today’s blog is, I was standing at the back of the class in inters trying to hide and not succeeding much. I caught my image in the mirror in front and the image of my fellow students and the thought that came to me was – I am a Clydesdale in a china shop. This isn’t a new thought I used to have it when I did belly dancing and I used to clip clop around the studio. I had a ball but there was very little grace there. I have long accepted my clydesdaleishness so that isn’t a cause for distress, although I constantly worry about breaking the tiny little instructors. What it got me to thinking of was – what is the expectation of the trainers for the students?

There is very little I can do in the inters class. At the moment I can do choppers and I can do the strength and conditioning exercises and that my friends is it. What I have noticed Giang and Sarah do, (they’re currently have the task of teaching me inters), is they break the moves down so if I can’t get the dive and at the moment I could very easily use harsh language when I think about the dive, they will say ok if you can’t hang on just get up there, practice that, then practice the grip. So some people just pop up get the dive, done and dusted, some people like your poor blogger have to move excruciatingly slowly towards the dive and the superman. I can see theses moves progressing but ye gods it’s a slow slow process for me.

I did think, while I was feeding my horse and donkey, because that is a good place for thinking, I did think what does it matter if it takes me ages to get these moves. If I am going to do pole for the rest of my life does it actually matter that much if I don’t get the moves in a month or a year. The moves will come when they come. I do wonder about the instructors though. Do they think oh for f’s sake will you get it already or are they happy if you show up on time, show them respect and do your utmost. I know as a primary school teacher if my students do this I am more than happy.

I have to fight against feelings of I wish I had started earlier, I wish I was smarter, fitter and stronger. I have to be grateful for what I have and work with that. It’s very hard when you see the whole chocolate box that pole is and you think I want that  and that and gimme some of that please, but you can’t have it until you get your poxy dive and superman. It’s a case of suck it up Trishy.  Allrighty that’s my lot for this week. I love Pole.

Thank you Universe for providing this studio, these instructors and my fellow students who I love to bits.

Blog 7 I’ve Fallen in Love with Pole

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I’m into my third week of Inters and I didn’t think anything could replace trapeze but I love Pole I truly, madly, love Pole.

I do two inter classes a week, two stretch classes, two beginner classes and a dance class. I’m still going to the beginner’s class because there’s some handy stuff in there that I haven’t mastered yet.

The inters class is a world away from beginners and in all honesty there’s not much I can do at the moment. I have a nice Chopper and that’s getting me a little class cred but for the most part I keep my mouth shut and try not to be seen. If the instructor’s eyes are not on you that means you can take a moment to get your breath or summon up courage or try to work out just how the hell you are going to do something.

High school taught me how to avoid eye contact with a teacher, I wish they had given a grade for that because I was a master of avoidance. I knew how to stay at the back of a class and how to keep quiet. Back to present day the pole instructors get to you eventually but a much needed ‘suck a breath’ time is obtained by these strategies.

Taleah from Friday’s class moved to Honours in the Avoidance category. Sarah the instructor was doing the rounds of the room getting each student to demonstrate the move we had just covered. She stood in front of Taleah and said “Show me”. Taleah without batting an eye said “Pass”. “Pass?” I said, “I didn’t know there was a pass option” especially as I was on the pole next to Taleah which meant Sarah came to me next. We all knew the instructor was coming back for Taleah but that didn’t help me much as she was now staring me down. “Show me” She says. “Pass?” I try but it didn’t wash. I think I didn’t deliver it as confidently as Taleah did. Fortunately this was only beginners class so that when I mangled the move I didn’t die I just sort of crumpled.

We did have two other more experienced inters students in the class that night. They took up the back two poles and they were pretty much running a comedy routine for the entire class. I’m hoping they come back, they were fun. Sarah was then coming up with activities for brand new beginners, more experienced beginners and intermediate students, all in the one class. She certainly earns her money.

The Saturday inters class was brilliant. Giang takes this one and she showed us handstands. I couldn’t do them but I have the start of it and now I can work on them. A large part of the problem is that I seem to have lost my nerve. I’m confident that it will come back but it deserted me today.

We also did this very cool static pole stuff and that was brilliant. You got to really throw yourself around on the pole and while I didn’t get very far I know that I have moved forward even just a teeny tiny bit. Static is tricky because you grab the pole but you still need to release enough to spin round. My class mate was whizzing around her pole but not for trashy this week.

I heard today that Sky High is going to hold a showcase next year and friends and family can come. I am very excited by this. I would love to be able to do a routine but what routine is the question? I have wanted to do a routine since I saw Greta Pontarelli on You Tube. She’s a bit of a hero of mine and got me interested in Pole.

The photos from the pole shoot have been coming in and I love them. I may even be willing to up my game next year because the other class mates who also did the photo shoot came up with beautiful costumes and great poses. So I may step out of my comfort zone next year.

Thank you Universe for providing this studio, these instructors and my fellow students who I love to bits.

2016 Blog 12 A Clever Trapeze Class

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I read a book once about the art of trapeze and the author said trapeze is designed to be beautiful. Don’t just huff and puff your way through the tricks, every move every look every gesture is supposed to beautiful, graceful and strong. That is one of the things that I love about trapeze. It is a chance to learn how to do something with grace. I’ve been trying for graceful since I was six and doing ballet class but I’ve never thought graceful could be taught I always thought you either had it or you didn’t. I have discovered though that learning circus skills opens up whole new worlds.

Head up look at your audience. What are your hands doing? Are your legs straight? What expression do you have on your face? It’s not a stressful thing running through these elements it’s more like a mental check list. It’s part of the process and I love it. When I first learned to juggle Alessandro the trainer said stand up straight, look forward, shoulders relaxed, be gorgeous. I had laughed when he first said this but why not, why can’t gorgeous be an attitude rather than a physical attribute? It’s worth a thought. When Alex reminded me during class to look up at the audience she took me right back to that first juggling lesson. So if you are a person who does not like to make eye contact, who does not have good posture or is continually tense, this is a way to develop the habit of stand tall and easy and now I almost never have to be reminded to do it.

The clever part of today’s title was a new trick Alex showed us. She showed us a way to go from Back Star to Gazelle and it was so simple but looked so good and we had got there because she had built up the moves over the weeks. You start in Back Star a little closer to one side rather than just in the middle. Then you bend one leg and twist and voila you are in Gazelle and after a bit of practice we didn’t need our hands to help so it looked really cool to be hanging in Back Star with your hands down and then you just move your leg and twist and suddenly, smoothly, apparently effortlessly you are in Gazelle. I thought it was really clever and I thought it was beautiful. Every time I think are we getting to the point of knowing most of the moves Alex pulls another trick out of her hat. She’s a magician!

Chantelle and I did a run through of our routine and I had asked Alex to video it so I had a record of where I was at in trapeze at this point in time. I think it must have been close to the end when I hit the bar with my heel. Chantelle said she heard it and I love her because she kept going. It’s the dancer in her I think, if you’re performing you keep going. Alex was videoing us and asked if I was ok and I nodded and I kept going. Now I can tell you it hurt like a Mother but I really really wanted our routine on video unbroken so I thought I don’t care if I can’t feel my foot I’m finishing the bloody routine. I finished I smiled at the end and then as soon as I was off the mat I allowed myself to feel the equisite pain that was radiating up from my foot. Now I describe this because; 1) I was so impressed that Chantelle kept going she could have buggered up the video by stopping and I wouldn’t have blamed her but she didn’t. 2) Alex either saw it or heard it and asked if I was ok and I liked that. Alex doesn’t say harden up keep going she asks if you are ok it’s a really nice trait she has.3) I had further proof that if I want something nothing gets in my way, I did not care that I couldn’t feel my foot I wanted a complete video and by cripes that’s what I got. It was a reminder of my nature and I like this about myself.

I know (‘ve said this before but I have worked with difficult people in the past and so I am grateful when I have good people to work with. Chantelle is flat out funny she is a hoot to work with. She has this bird call she does just when she feels like it and I love it. Alex is tricky with what she slips into the lesson and she’s funny too. Universe thank you for bringing me to the Circobats crew you did me a very good turn there. These Saturday afternoons are magical. It doesn’t matter if someone is sick or has an injury or if everyone is full of beans and ready to take on Everest, it’s a lovely, funny, kind class and I love it.

 

 

2016 Blog 11 What is the Purpose of Art? (Please be aware that some difficult potentially triggering subjects are raised)

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2016 Blog 11 What is the Purpose of Art?

I was so enthralled by the Circobats Mortal Sins show that I went to both sessions. The first session raised all of these questions in me and I was hoping to get some answers from the second session. I’m still considering the answers a day later.

So far my circus experience has been, look at the beautiful outfits, see the physical mastery, listen to the wonderful music and be entertained. The Mortal Sins show took that experience to a much deeper level and I finally realised that dance and music are mediums that are as powerful as words to convey emotion. Actually to convey emotion and to evoke emotion because I and several audience members were actively moved by two of the acts in this performance.

Two acts in the first part of the show were so affecting and they lost none of their power when I saw them for the second time. It made me wonder; Is this how art started? Did a cavemen or woman experience overwhelming joy or despair and want to be able to communicate it with the others in his group. Does art allow you to get these feelings out of your system before you are consumed by them. Does it enable you to communicate with others how you are feeling through dance, music, painting, writing or sculpture? Somebody once said to me that I was too sensitive and I thought at the time that he was too insensitive. I know that despite the pitfalls of being overly sensitive I would not want to become a person whose feelings were calloused over and were not able to appreciate what I saw Friday and Saturday.

The first piece concerned grief and it made me ask so many questions. Is this piece a mechanism for making sense of what happened? Is it a way to honour those who have gone or is it a way to simply get overwhelming emotions out of your body in a constructive way rather than the destructive use of self harm or drugs. Is it a way to communicate with others that your world has changed and this is what it looks like now. It was an amazing piece of work and I will never forget it.

Zoe then showed us her year 12 submission and that was another powerful performance. I put an interpretation on it from my own experiences and then I asked Zoe later what the piece was about. My interpretation was different to Zoe’s intention and so arose more questions. Is art a direct communication between the artist and the public or does art stand alone? Does art have a life of it’s own and the ability to teach you what you need to be taught. Regardless of the answers the piece was so strong and moving. What a night hey?

Ok that’s enough of the deep stuff let me tell you about the rest of the show. The Mortal Sins show had two segments. I would like to say it was a two act piece but then there were acts within those two acts and it’s just going to get too confusing.

So the first part of the show had those two amazing pieces that I have spoken about already. We also saw some wonderful displays of acrobatics and juggling. A Circobat called Tara did the MC job for both nights and it occurred to me that her role was pivotal throughout the sessions.

To start with Tara was who we saw first, so she was our introduction to the show. It was like she opened the door to the show and said; “Come in, sit down and here we go”. Her manner and the way she was dressed was reassuring, like here you are, you are about to be experience something and I’ll be guiding you through the process. So an act would come on and you would be absorbed by that act and forget about reality and then the act was over and Tara was back and you would blink and then oh yes this is where I am and then on to the next performance. Now if you really got into an act, it was incredibly nice to have someone bring you back to reality and get you ready for the next performance. I don’t know if that was her intention but that was the effect she had on me. She kept things rolling and gave you the feeling that everything was running as it should. That girl is going to go places if she has a mind to.

They put little jokes throughout the performance. So for Tazi’s wonderful hat act you didn’t just have someone walk on stage and plonk the hat down you had a whole funny little tiny routine to go with it. I really enjoyed those little acts sprinkled throughout the evening.

The acrobatic act was ridiculously good. My goodness you did not know where to look. There were performers everywhere then they grouped themselves together and made human sculptures then they moved apart and made one big balancing thingy then they split up again and made little balancing thingies and I thought nobody is talking to each other but everyone in the act knows what pose is next, where your feet go, where your hands go and Voila! It was magical and joyous.

Tazi did her hat manipulation routine from Spaced Out and that is such a lovely happy quirky piece. She should be really proud of that act. Ryan did a juggling act on his own which was amazing. The way he got the rings to change colour was so cool. I’ve been following his work for a few years now and I’ve just seen him improve and improve. The blonde girl doing the juggling did a great job and was quite dazzling.

So now onto the second act which was The Mortal Sins show itself and yowza what a show. This was a clever show in so many ways. Take one couple, Alex and Sam, with maybe a few cracks in the relationship. Introduce a hoola hooping femme fatale played by Persia and all hell breaks loose. It’s a competition to win the heart of the man and it’s take no prisoners. Oh and you roll through a list of mortal sins as you go.

You could almost forgive Sam for being tempted with the hoola hooping scene, it was mesmerising. However Alex fought back with a trapeze routine that was not to be ignored. Her facial expression and her body language left you in no doubt what she thought of the hoola hooping intrusion. I kept thinking but that’s my Alex, funny, patient, lovely Alex. The look her character was giving Persia would have sent me scurrying away. I had to keep telling myself it’s acting Trish just acting. Words are my art form so I am fascinated that all three players exactly conveyed their emotions and intentions without a word being spoken. As an aside the way Alex made her trapeze appear and disappear at the end was genius. It was like she whistled for her horse and it appeared and then it left again when she was done with it. This is an example of all of these tiny little things that just made the show brilliant. Then Alex commenced to walk all over Persia in an acrobatic showdown that was amazing. Sam then comes in and shows how he’s been manipulating hearts all along and then proceeds to hypnotise the audience with his illuminated poi routine. Alex and Persia return with some music that will knock your socks off, honestly the music was another character of the show. Alex and Persia then biff it out on separate silks. Sam watches Persia at the start but he’s watching Alex at the end.

I cannot believe how talented these people are. They could be actors if they wanted to and I’ve barely mentioned the physical mastery they showed in the performance. My goodness I enjoyed this. If they do a DVD I would love a copy and Circobats need to think about having a You Tube channel. seriously guys think about this.

I am incredibly grateful for meeting the Circobats people. They are talented in their performances and they are kind by the way they are willing to share their skills in the classes they offer. I am dazzled by their performances. Well done Circobats you are awesome.

2016 Blog 10 Training is a Privilege

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Have you ever thought about the idea that training is a privilege? Any day, any moment or any second, things could happen and your training could be taken away. You could get injured, your trainer could get injured, you could have to go to hospital, your training venue could get shut down, maybe you have to move or your job changes. People with children, in my experience mostly women, have trouble getting to training because of the difficulty with finding someone to mind the kids.

Some people’s jobs get in the way, some people don’t have jobs and can’t afford the training. Some people have a physical or mental impairment that make training a very different proposition as compared to a person without those impairments. Some people don’t have transport or don’t have a class that interests them available to them.

My point is, that when I have training I move Heaven and Earth to get there. Sometimes I’m tired or grumpy or achy but I always think you don’t know how long this will last you need to make the most of every session. I just wanted to share that.

Another thought that occurred to me today was that why does an interesting training session finish in a nanosecond when I have been in other dull sessions that drag on forever!!!! Doesn’t seem fair somehow.

Doctor Who may as well have come and visited and stuffed around with the time lines today because I would have sworn on bibles that our lesson lasted for five minutes but I looked at the clock at the finish and poor Alex had gone fifteen minutes over .

It was such a great lesson today. I felt so strong. I stuffed up a move. I was trying to do a backward roll and I missed the bar, Alex said go back the other way and I didn’t even panic I knew I had enough strength to hold my own weight and just go back the other way and that my friends is one of the sweetest feelings in the world. To be able to hold your own weight and feel comfortable in it is cool, very very cool.

Chantelle did a move that we’re calling the Python. I really wished I had got it on video but I was so horrified by what she was doing that I couldn’t even move to help her. It was like she did it in slow motion. She did a drop and then kept going but slowly. So her legs were around the rope and then she released her arm and then her legs and kind of curled up on top of the mat below. It was amazing to watch. The freaky thing was that as she did it I was asking Alex what’s the escape clause in this move if you don’t catch your legs and she was saying as Chantelle was doing her Python no you’ll be fine because you’re hanging on with one arm.  It is very fortunate that Chantelle is as bendy as she is.

After witnessing the Python I went right off that particular move and then found any drops hard after that too. Chantelle got right back up and did it again so that was enough for me to suck it up and go otherwise I would have been regretting it on the drive home.

We did our routine on the triple trapeze and that was a lot of fun. Every now and again depending on the move Chantelle and I would meet on the trapeze and the first couple of times it scared the hell out of me. Normally when I do the routine I’m thinking about it so hard I forget everything else. So there I was concentrating hard on some move and then Chantelle’s face looms towards me as she does the same move on the other side of the trapeze. I nearly fell off my perch the first couple of times. It’s fun though doing the routine on the triple as opposed to two singles side by side.

In other news Circobats are having a fundraiser for their next fringe show. They will be doing their Mortal Sins Act and there will be a couple of other supporting acts. The tickets are ten dollars and that’s very cheap entertainment to see some extremely talented people. There are two sessions for this performance this Friday Night at 7.30 and Saturday at 5.30. You can get the details from their website or Facebook page and they also have raffle tickets with some speccy prizes.

Thank you for reading and I’ll catch you in the next blog.